As a dancer, flexibility and range of motion is essential to prevent injury. It’s been the most difficult part of my fitness to restore since my hip surgery in 2018.
This topic was already on deck when the coronavirus began causing the stay-at-home orders that have restricted much of our movement since mid-March, so my client asked to keep the topic, but to change its approach, since so many of us are losing mobility and flexibility while we sit more in front of screens. While I do try to take long walks and do weekly dance and yoga classes, I can tell that my back is not happy with how little I’ve been moving since we’ve been at home. Perhaps I need to listen to our experts and do some stretching during the week, particularly on the days when I sit at my desk for multiple hours at a time.
The benefits of stretching — especially if you’re at home
Flexibility isn’t just about touching your toes or doing the splits. In actuality, flexibility is simply the amount of movement available at each joint. Flexibility is important to staying healthy and avoiding pain and injury.
The experts at Arizona Orthopedic Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Phoenix, point out that flexibility is needed to perform a number of activities that people do every day: Getting out of bed. Sitting down in a car — and getting up to run the errands you drove to. Doing household chores like dusting and vacuuming. Even picking up your child requires flexibility and strength.
Now that many of us are limiting where we go and how often we move, it’s even more important to make sure that we retain flexibility and joint mobility. One of our Michigan members, HealthQuest Physical Therapy, points out three key benefits to improved flexibility: